needing a re-start

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by huser09, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. huser09

    huser09 New Friend

    Aug 1, 2010
    Hello -- I'm a newbie to TrumpetMaster. It's great to have this community to turn to in my time of need.

    I am a 52-year-old guy who has played trumpet since 7th grade, mostly for fun and church, but sometimes for pay as I've incorporated my horn into other musical settings. Recently I had some pretty major dental work done, including crowns on my two upper front teeth. They are structured the same as my original teeth, but I haven't tried to pick up my horn yet because I'm a little nervous.

    Two questions:

    1. Anyone out there with experience in this? Before I try to play again I want to make sure I'm not setting myself up for dental problems.

    2. Can anyone recommend a method book or video lesson series I can use to rebuild my chops? I've never been a "serious" player, and although I have great tone and a great ear, my range is limited. I figure if I'm starting over I may as well do it right and begin a good practice routine to help me correct some of my bad habits from being a "ham and egg" player all these years.

    I had the dental work done so I could save my teeth and keep playing. Now I need to get off my butt and do it. Thanks for your help and support.
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I am not sure that a "new" start will help at all. The greatest levels of success that I have had with players with years under their belt has been through EVOLUTION, not REVOLUTION. That means get started right away and then address things like pressure and tension. Habits are really tough to beat - and perhaps not necessary at all.

    What is necessary for sure is work on your breathing and all of the things that tie breathing to playing. A second area where you for sure need help is in body use.

    The mistake of "correcting" bad habits is that you do not know for sure if your "problems" are based on "quantity" and "quality" of your practice or doing something significantly wrong. We cannot know this either and any recommendations on embouchure change are more dangerous than helpful.

    The book with the greatest common denominator is the Arbans, everything after that is gravy in my opinion. It is NOT an embouchure book, but it does promote correct embouchure.

    The single best advice that I can give is to get a couple of serious, local, private lessons to get you started. All the conjecture here from people that don't know you or how you play will give you plenty of things to worry about that a REAL teacher can dispell in one lesson!
  3. tpetplyr

    tpetplyr Pianissimo User

    Dec 15, 2003
    I've been using Buzzing Basics by Jim Thompson to evolve my chops to great success in the last 2 months. If you take time to read the text carefully and listen to the examples on the provided CD, it's a good way to promote correct habits while playing. Add Clarke/Arban/Irons/etc... to this and you have well rounded routine.

  4. samej

    samej New Friend

    Apr 22, 2010
    Bristol, Uk

    I smashed my front teeth when I was quite young. A few years later when I had crowns put on I had to start from scratch because I couldn't play a note, BUT.. the dentist closed the gap between my front teeth at the same time and this is what really caused the problem. If the overall structure of your front teeth is the same then you should have no, or at least very little, problem. I've subsequently had a crown replaced, and the slight difference in shape did make a tiny change but this was overcome in a very short time and was not really a problem. I've had a crown now for over 10 years on a dead tooth and no problems with the tooth. So I think just give it a try and make sure you have a good practice routine and you should have no difficulty adjusting pretty quickly. (And follow the above advice too.)

  5. Keith Fiala

    Keith Fiala Pianissimo User

    Feb 21, 2007
    Austin, Texas
    Hi Huser09,
    There is a good chance that since your crowns are essentially the same as your teeth before the work, you'll be fine.

    Remember that it's a small focussed aperture that affects your tone, range, endurance, control, flexibility, etc. Any sort of "feel" can be retrained and "learned."

    Take a look at "Chops Rehab!"


    Keith Fiala
  6. larry tscharner

    larry tscharner Forte User

    Apr 30, 2010
    dubuque iowa
    You have reason to be hopeful. Since your teeth are essentialy the same or better you should have relatively little trouble adjusting. I played with braces for two years for a very major overbite and lived to tell about it. You will adjust your chops and be a better player just by practicing and making subtle little changes naturally. If you are worried about dammaging the dental work consult your dentist about mpc pressure for reassurance of the quality of his work, it should be able to take it as long as it isnt excessive. Now get off your butt and start having fun with music again. The longer you wait the farther you will have to go to get back! Best wishes.
  7. huser09

    huser09 New Friend

    Aug 1, 2010
    Hey, Keith -- thanks for your input and encouragement. I happen to be unemployed right now so I don't know if I can swing the deal for "Chops Rehab", but I'm expecting some royalty money to come in soon. It sounds like just what I need at this point, so I'm excited about ordering the course. Thanks, again, for your reply!

  8. huser09

    huser09 New Friend

    Aug 1, 2010
    Thanks a lot, James -- it's good to hear from someone who has had experience with crowns. So far they are holding up, but I haven't really played yet other than a few notes to see how my chops feel. Stay tuned!
  9. Keith Fiala

    Keith Fiala Pianissimo User

    Feb 21, 2007
    Austin, Texas
    My pleasure Paul,

    Don't hesitate to contact me through my site too if you have questions or need a quick guide.

  10. Dave Mickley

    Dave Mickley Forte User

    Nov 11, 2005
    I badly chipped my two front teeth when I was twelve due to a flying Croquet ball [don't ask] and wore gold caps until I was 18. I was constantly getting one or both of the gold caps knocked out and then re-glued back in and every time the cap would be placed slightly different changing the feel and m.p. placement. Have had the permament caps [crowns] for over 42 yrs. and have had no problems. I'm the dreaded pressure player and the caps are doing fine. If possible take some lessons have fun.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2010

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